Sprung on Torah


“The text came in the night before to show up for a podcast the next day in school. I got to miss class so it seemed like a win for me but I must admit, I was not sure what to expect. But after I walked out, I found myself smiling and it was probably one of the best Dvar Torahs I have heard this year,” said Johnathan Lev-Tov, a senior part of the live audience. 


Monday, the 23rd, marked the first podcast that Rabbi Shlomo Sprung had recorded with a live, student audience. This relatively new series started right before the new year and this marks the tenth podcast. Rabbi Sprung posts all of his Dvar Torahs on Spotify to make it easy for others to access them whenever and wherever they may be. Whether they are driving to work, driving home, or needing to listen to something in the background while they do homework. 


The whole idea for the podcast is to provide “a practical and rational approach to Torah, with unique and original ideas.” Such a goal is achieved by the mix of two perfect ingredients: the chosen topic and Rabbi Sprung’s amazing ability to speak without a script to capture the listener with his animated tone and relatable ideas. Jaime Mizrahi, a senior at Scheck Hillel and a member of the live audience commented, “Rabbi Sprung provided us with an approach to the ten plagues that is clear to us in that it shows us how the people in the Torah, were still people, just like us, so the psychology and thought process was relatively the same as our own today.” Rabbi Sprung explains that this is “just the beginning” and that he hopes that Sprung on Torah with the participation of students will become routine. 


In addition, the atmosphere of the recording was set as if there were no cameras and it was just a regular talk between a teacher and students. Prior to the start of Sprung on Torah, Rabbi Sprung would invite seniors to come and listen to a Dvar Torah, on either the Parasha or a relative and relatable topic, during lunch, once a week. It became known as “Lunch ‘n Learn.”Abraham Klainbaum, a usual participant of the lunch and learns says, “I love learning with Rabbi Sprung. He turns me from a doubter to a believer in 30 quick minutes. Not only do I have fun, but I learn what the Torah and Judaism are all about.” However, it seems as though the success of the small idea sparked Rabbi Sprung to turn the dynamic into a much larger project where he can influence many more listeners on a larger scale. However, it seemed as though Rabbi Sprung still missed the free discussion type of dynamic between him and the students as it is where it all started so, therefore, came the first recording with a live, student audience. Rabbi Sprung confirms that it indeed was the original, casual, lunch meeting with “my boys” that initiated the start of Sprung on Torah and he explains, “I love sharing Torah, that’s the real reason. Everything else is just details.”  


From the student’s perspective, it seemed like all four students enjoyed the meeting and left thinking. The pace of the Dvar Torah was perfect and it wasn’t too complicated to follow without reading along to a source or seeing a visual. Alberto Koenig, another senior that was part of the live audience remarks, “Just having a complete positive energy in the room led to an impactful set of amazing Torah shiur.” 


Overall, what started as a nonchalant meeting between student and teacher, became a much larger project in the form of Sprung on Torah. It is amazing to see how both a teacher and students can act on their passions and create a podcast on Spotofy to share such joy with others. I hope to see the podcast continue throughout the year and that Rabbi Sprung continues to encourage students to join and participate as a live audience as it is truly a great experience.